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42 photos

This event took place in the Mayan large rancho/small pueblo of Santa Elena, which is a twenty minute drive south of Uxmal ruins and 1.5 hour drive south of Merida. Its economy is based on small scale agriculture and stock raising. It can look both charming and disheveled. The people are warm and friendly. Time of year was February. These photos were taken the day before the actual celebration which was filled with preparations for many things including a feast. The food preparation and several other activities are done on the property of someone who has committed to the donation of something like $20,000NP ($1800 USD), two pigs, a cleaned up space of respectable size, and a source of electricity and water. This is an honor bestowed by the community and there seems to be no lack of aspirants. There are photos at another home area which is where the event will be held the following year, the passing of responsibility from one family to another. There is a band, women in traditional costume, and the two pig heads from the current year involved in this ritual. I will add a few notations as needed and as time allows. Being a real outsider, it is difficult to interpret much of this with the exactness it deserves. A note about turkeys. Turkeys have been common in this area since early Mayan societies, and are still around today in great numbers, being owned by the majority of families who have space to keep a few. For the feast, families who bring a turkey, contribute half the eventually cooked bird to the feast and the other half of the cooked bird goes back home.
I have not idea why the heads of the two pigs butchered for the feast are here like this.It could be some expression of gratitude for the giving of life?Read note in main caption on turkeys.They do know how to deal with turkeys. A thousand years of wisdom?Scalding the carcus to loosen feathers.Pin feather removal.The following thee slides have to do with the preparation of a mole.The pork and turkey are cooked in this all night.Beyond chili I have no idea about ingredients.This is one of fifteen caldrons used to cook the pork and turkeys, here being cleaned with wood ash.Could she ever clean a pot!Cell phones are so handy.It takes tanks of this mole as the caldrons are large.